Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Wine Cellar That Isn't

On Monday I bottled a second case of wine. This time it was some Valençay rosé. I thought that while I was at it I'd share a few photos taken inside our "cellar."

Our bottle rack holds both filled and emptied bottles.

Ours cannot really be called une cave (a wine cellar), even though we keep wine there. A proper wine cellar in a house like ours would be dug below ground level with access likely by trap door and a steep stair or ladder. In fact, one of the houses we considered back in 2002 had exactly that kind of cellar. The trap door was on a closet floor, and the cellar was below grade making the temperature and humidity in there perfect for storing wine.

The bottle drying rack and pantry shelves behind.

In the house we bought, however, there is only what can be called a pantry off the utility room on the ground floor. It's located on the northwest corner of the house and has a simple sand floor. But it isn't insulated and the temperature changes with the outdoor temperature. Not ideal for long-term wine storage.

The corking machine, which is getting less use these days.

But it does function as a great pantry, and we use it to keep all manner of dry and canned goods, oils and vinegars, dog food, empty jars and other containers, and our bottling supplies. And yes, we do keep our wine in there, but it's not being stored for any significant length of time, so it's not a problem.


  1. Fascinating post Walt. I love your cave/pantry. Wish I had something similar.

    Donna in SF

  2. WC,

    Nice post. You'll have us Coke drinking Americans drinking wine on a far more regular bases in no time.

    Love the set-up and the equipment.


  3. donna, yes, it is very convenient, especially given that storage in our kitchen is limited.

    gilbert, hahaha! I think it might take a little more than that! ;)

  4. i for one am a wine drinking american! no coke for me. :D i drink it on a daily basis, for medicinal purposes of course!

    i love your pantry and wine racks storage area. we live in an old farm house that has NO storage areas at all. i am reduced to storing stuff in our damp basement in plastic bins to protect the food from the leakiness.

    does the wine corker do the plastic corking you were mentioning too or is that another contraption?

  5. I love the drying rack. It's so sculptural!

  6. alas, it is so hot here, wine quickly 'cooks' so what we have must be consumed ASAP. no cellar for us boohoo

  7. tansy, of course! Medicinal. And no, that corker only does the real corks.

    evol, it's almost like a christmas tree when it's full up.

    urspo, but you can keep it in the fridge, or in one of those fancy wine cooler/cellar contraptions...


Tell me what you think!